Tag Archives: creole

Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage

17 Aug
Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage

Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage

After two months of no measurable rain and temps in mostly the 90s and triple digits, we had a welcome day of rain and cool temps in the 70s. The sudden change in weather gave me the opportunity to come up with a one-pot meal that was both satisfying with plenty of heat.

The weather seems to have moderated now back into temperatures normal for Central Oregon, with abundant blue skies. Just in time for the pending Apoc-Eclipse, which we are escaping from for a week to our private RV property on the coast. The forecast is for mostly sunny skies, and we’ll be uncrowded and safely ensconced away from the madness that is sure to come here. We are also in the path of totality over there, and even if we end up with a few clouds and maybe fog, it will still get dark, right?

I know I’ve gone missing in the WordPress world, but the power went out last Friday and fried our modem, and our “stellar” internet provider could not get a tech out here until Tuesday. And now I’ll be absent again for another week. So I’d best get this recipe out to you!

Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage
Adapted from Tastes of the South

2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
1/2 pound Andouille sausage, sliced
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (15-ounce) can light red beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low sodium
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, chopped vegetables and garlic, and cook about 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender and sausage is browned. Add the beans, tomato, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Stir in rice and broth.

In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs and melted butter; set aside.

Add the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully slide skillet out and sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Continue to bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve with a side of cornbread.

 

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BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

30 Jan
BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

I rarely try to do copycat recipes as they never come up to snuff to what you expect, but this one scored in my house. Now, probably 99.9999% of my readers don’t even live in my small town nor either close to it, so we’ll just leave it at that I was able to surpass the taste of this amazing shrimp appetizer dish at a local trendy restaurant.

It probably doesn’t even taste the same, since I never bought their expensive $16 bottle of the sauce to compare it to. (Who buys a $16 bottle of BBQ sauce, what??) All I know is that it exceeded our expectations of how it would turn out. I’m in LOVE! My husband swooned! (OK he didn’t literally, but he loved it too so I had to say it.)

I tried searching for the copycat recipe from our local restaurant (Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails), but all it ever came up with was a copycat recipe for Zydeco 5, which is apparently in the Midwest or thereabouts. So, I googled for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Whoa! Too much information. However, what I gleaned from it all is that there were two camps in how to prepare it. Either marinating for a long time then oven cooking, or cooking quickly in a cast-iron skillet. I chose the former after my research.

I printed out several of the recipes that went in both camps, then combined all the ingredients into one full recipe. I got a little confuzzled at one point when I scratched out on one and then switched to the other then went back to the other. OY!

Instead of making grits or polenta cakes from scratch (for time reasons), I went with an organic refrigerated garlic and basil polenta tube from a local grocery. Trader Joe’s sells a similar tube of this product.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Note: I’ve offered to bring this to Super Bowl next week as an appetizer, and THEN make it again a few weeks later as the main course for a dinner party. Am I nuts??? LOL. But will be glad to do it.

Second note: I have a high heat/spice tolerance, so adjust seasoning amounts as needed.

This recipe serves two people, adjust amounts if serving more. On to the recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
3 tablespoons Worcesterhire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used Stubb’s)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cajun (Creole) seasoning
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried spicy oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Generous amounts of ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepared refrigerated polenta
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients through to the ground pepper. You may want to add the spicy spices a little at a time until the spice level suits your tastes.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s reduced just a tad. Add the shrimp to a casserole dish, then pour the sauce over it, stirring around to coat. Spread the shrimp around so they’re in a single layer.

Marinating the Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 4 hours or overnight.

About a half hour before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When preheated, place shrimp dish uncovered in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the polenta into 1/2-inch or so cakes (I wasn’t very precise in that case). Add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the polenta cakes on each side until slightly browned.

Fried Polenta Cakes

Fried Polenta Cakes

Place two polenta cakes in a bowl, then add desired amount of shrimp over the cakes, pouring generous amounts of the BBQ sauce over it. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and green onion. Serve with a crusty bread, for sopping up all the sauce. Try not to fight over who gets to mop up the last of the sauce out of the casserole dish.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Kale Chip Round Up ~ Prepared Five Ways!

10 Apr
Kale Roasting in Oven

Kale Roasting in Oven ~ for some reason I really wanted to caption this “Dancing Kale.” Don’t ask me why. I just thought it was so pretty with the reflections.

This was a fun little project I set out on the other day. I had a huge bunch of kale, and decided to make these kale chips everyone and their brother has been blogging about. But since I’d never made these before and there were so many variations, I decided to do several little batches in all different flavors. That way if I burnt the kale, or I didn’t like the taste of the seasonings I chose, I wouldn’t be throwing out an entire bunch.

My very first batch was spent hovering in front of the oven with the light on, timing it precisely, and sweating it out that I would burn them. Since all ovens cook so differently, I went on the cautious side from the various timings I’d seen on this. I can tell you now that my oven crisps these babies up perfectly at 5 minutes per side, providing you didn’t add any liquid type seasoning, such as lime juice. Those batches took 2 minutes more to dry out the extra liquid.

It was fun to photograph them with all their seasonings. The hardest part was finding enough little bowls for them. I even resorted to a vintage Melamine avocado green dish that survived all my moves and clean-outs that I somehow acquired over the years. It’s possible it was given to me when my mom got rid of all her Melamine dishware and sent me off to college with them. I have two of those little bowls left, I guess they are considered “chic” now, huh?

I’ll give you my rating and my daughter’s rating for these after each recipe and photo. I could only get my husband to taste my first batch, and he said “well that’s interesting” and opted out of tasting all the other flavors.  I suppose I can’t count on these to replace his love for potato chips. Ah well.

Rinsed, Raw Kale

Rinsed, Raw Kale

Kale Chips Method

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Tear off  all the kale from the rigid middle stem, then wash thoroughly and drain. Pat dry real well with paper towels to absorb any moisture left. Add whatever amount you want to bake to a bowl. Spray the kale with olive oil, then rub it in thoroughly with your hands all over.  Next add whatever ever seasonings called for “to taste” in the recipe and distribute evenly. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and space the kale evenly apart so it’s not crowded. Since I did such small batches, that was not an issue. Bake for 5  minutes, then turn kale over and bake 5 minutes more, or until dried and crispy.

I had seen some websites say it can take up to 10 minutes per side, but not in my case. I’m wondering if it also has to do with how well you pat them dry, as my oven tends to cook cooler than most. I was also warned on several websites that these burn easily and fast, so monitor your oven for your first batch to get the timing down.

Parmesan Cheese Kale Chips

Parmesan Cheese Kale Chips

Parmesan Kale Chips

Light dusting of sea salt
Shredded Parmesan cheese (add after the first 5 minutes)

After taste testing all the batches, this was my Numero Uno pick! It had the perfect balance of crunchy/cheesy/saltiness. Next time I will add twice the Parmesan. Some of the cheese came out nice and brown, and somehow those ended up at the bottom of the bowl and didn’t make the photo. Those were my faves. This came in third for my daughter.

Cajun Kale Chips

Cajun Kale Chips

Cajun Kale Chips

Store-bought Cajun seasoning (I used Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning)

This one came in dead last for both of us. I have my suspicions I was over-zealous with the seasoning. Zatarain’s is pretty spicy and salty, and it was just overbearing. If you try the Cajun route, use sparingly! I might try them again sometime, with about half the seasoning, and perhaps some lime juice or cheese to mellow it out.

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Lime and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Kale Chips

Fresh squeezed lime juice (this took a quarter lime for my teeny batch)
Crushed red pepper flakes (some of them fell off, so sprinkled more on after turning them)

And this one was came in First Place for my daughter! It was second for me. I like me some spicy, and the lime really balanced it out. I did have to bake a little longer to get them crisp because of the lime juice.

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Garlic and Sweet Hungarian Paprika Kale Chips

Minced garlic from a jar, with a little of the juice
Sweet Hungarian Paprika

This was my third place pick. My daughter said I should not make them again, but that they weren’t as bad as the Cajun ones, which made them fourth place for her. I think I should have added a lot more minced garlic than I did, because the pieces with the most roasted garlic had a really nice flavor. It seemed to be missing something, not sure what. Maybe a little salt? Or maybe my tastebuds were burning out at this point, not sure!

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips

Balsamic Vinegar
Sea Salt

My daughter chose this as her second place pick, and this ended up being my fourth. Before she took a bite, she said, “You know mom, vinegar can be real iffy. This could be either really good or really bad.” She took a bite, and her eyes lit up. “I really like these!” So this goes to show that taste buds can vary as much as the spices. Once again, since you are adding a liquid, bump up the cook time for a couple of minutes.

So there you have it,  my Kale Chip Round-Up. It was a lot of fun, and this only took me just over an hour to achieve. If you make a single batch, you are done in no time! Now we have our winners and losers, and I can confidently make a few variations in the future for a healthy, low-fat, crispy snack. By the way, being the internet sleuth that I can be, I tried to find the origins of this recipe. Although I never came across a definitive source, I can say these “chips” have been in the published realm (online or paper) since the mid- to late-90s. It appears they first started as a recipe in the food dehydrator industry, then evolved to the oven. Either way, they are a yummy snack. I plan on making a nice big batch of the Parmesan ones for myself next time around.

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